No Bats At NKU Arena

Construction can begin on the new arena at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights now that investigators have determined an endangered species doesn’t live in the area.

NKU officials said two nights of tracking didn’t turn up any Indiana bats, a species protected by federal law, in the trees near the site. Had the bats been found to live there, the project would have been delayed for six months until the animals moved to caves to hibernate for the winter.

Work is scheduled to begin June 12th on the 8,000- to-10,000-seat Bank of Kentucky Center, part of a $53.5 million special events center tentatively scheduled to open in 2009.

Officials with Turner Construction Co., which will build the facility, let NKU officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service know about the possible bat habitat, which led to the tracking operation.

The arena is expected to host 120 events a year including concerts.